Polk County Sheriff’s Office Press Release
|PCSO deputies arrested three juveniles, two of whom are brothers, with extensive criminal histories on Wednesday evening, August 9, 2017, for multiple felony charges, after they stole a car and burglarized other cars in Bartow, one of which was a law enforcement vehicle. All of the stolen firearms were recovered.
15-year-old Malik Smith of Summerlin Street in Bartow was arrested and charged with:
Smith’s Criminal History:
15-year-old Joshua Deus of East Gay Street in Bartow was arrested and charged with:
Joshua Deus’ Criminal History:
17-year-old Juan Deus of East Gay Street in Bartow was arrested and charged with:
Juan Deus’ Criminal History:
“Here are three juveniles, wreaking havoc throughout Bartow, breaking into cars, including a marked Sheriff’s vehicle, and stealing a car, the day before school starts in Polk County. These kids are not afraid of our current juvenile justice system. The juvenile justice system is failing our kids, our victims, our state, and our community. These kids need to be held accountable for their outrageous criminal conduct, and treated like the juvenile criminals they are. Our community and our state deserve to be protected by them.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff
According to their affidavits, on August 9, 2017, multiple conveyance burglaries were reported in Bartow, having been committed during the late evening/early morning hours of August 8th through 9th, including a marked PCSO Agricultural Crimes pickup truck. The suspect(s) broke into the truck and through the locks securing the firearms in the truck, and also stole a ballistic vest, Oakley sunglasses, an iPhone, an Android tablet, and other personal items.
A stolen vehicle, described as a 2015 gray Ford Fusion, was also reported to Bartow Police under BPD case #17-2544. The vehicle was last seen on around 8:00 p.m. on August 8th, and discovered missing around 7:20 a.m. on August 9th.
The following is an excerpt from the affidavits, and is self-explanatory:
Video surveillance was located and showed what appeared to be a tall, thin male, running and being paced by a medium colored Ford Fusion. The Ford Fusion backs out of camera view, then shortly after drives forward again, away from the scene.
On 8-9-17 around 1245 hours, PCSO detectives located the stolen Ford Fusion at the dead end of Summerlin Oaks Apartments, located at 980 Church St East, Bartow.
Deputies maintained surveillance of the vehicle, and at approximately 1724 hours, deputies observed a subject begin to open the door to enter the vehicle. The subject apparently saw the deputies and began fleeing through the apartment complex. Deputies chased the suspect on foot and set a perimeter immediately. Deputies located the stolen PCSO handgun, wrapped in a shirt, on the path of the foot pursuit.
K9 tracked the suspect to the area of the Polk County School Board.
The suspect was located in the crawlspace of a Polk County School Board building at 1430 Hwy 60 East, Bartow, at 2038 hours. The suspect identified himself as Malik Smith, B-M, 9-24-01. Deputies verified the identity by prior interactions. The suspect was interviewed, and post-Miranda he stated he did take the vehicle overnight, and later parked it in the back of the apartment complex to hide it and use it later.
He described that he had taken the firearms together with a subject he knows as “Deuce,” a Puerto Rican male, who lives at a duplex with a silver car out front, on Gay Street, in Bartow.
He stated he drove with Deuce to the Gay Street residence and dropped off the items in the back yard. They left the items in the back yard and drove around for a while, before returning to the house in the early morning hours. He stated he took possession of one handgun, and Deuce took the rest of the firearms and property into the residence. He stated he did not know where his handgun went, but the rest of the firearms would be located at Deuce’s residence.
PCSO detectives made contact with Joshua Allen Deus, at 1010 East Gay Street, Bartow, and conducted a security sweep to secure the residence for a search warrant. They observed an open trash bag in plain sight in the back yard with shotgun and handgun ammunition matching the style issued by PCSO. The discovery was consistent with Malik Smith’s statements.
Deputies executed a search warrant at approximately 0214 hours.
The other stolen firearms were all located during the search warrant. A black bag containing multiple small bags of cannabis, and two scales, was located in the kitchen refrigerator. Personal items for Joshua Deus, including an ID card, were located in the backpack, together with the firearms.
Joshua Deus and Juan Deus were both interviewed.
Post-Miranda, Joshua Deus stated he did take possession of the weapons from Malik Smith. He advised he helped move and conceal the firearms inside the residence. He did not admit to being present during the initial theft. He admitted to possession of the cannabis in the refrigerator.
Post-Miranda, Juan Deus also stated he took possession of firearms from Malik Smith and moved them in the residence. He did not admit to being involved in the initial theft.
Based on the suspects’ statement, video surveillance, and evidence located, probable cause exists to believe all three of the suspects committed armed burglary of a PCSO vehicle, along with grand theft of a firearm (4 counts), criminal mischief (damage) to the inside of the vehicle, and grand theft. Further they committed motor vehicle theft and armed burglary regarding the theft of the 2015 Ford Fusion, in which they transported the firearms.
ADDITIONAL CHARGES FOR SMITH: Additionally, he committed resisting without violence and tampering with evidence when he intentionally fled from law enforcement and discarded a firearm of evidentiary value, concealed in a shirt. Further, he committed trespassing on school property and burglary of a structure, when he entered into the gated compound of the Polk County School Board property, and then into the crawl space of the School Board building.He committed violation of injunction as he has an active injunction for protection, served and valid from 4-12-16 through 4-12-20. The injunction is Hillsborough County case #16-10540. The injunction orders no possession of weapons or firearms. Further, he committed a minor in possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of concealed firearm. Deputies confirmed through JAC that Malik Smith is on active probation as of 5-23-17 for grand theft and burglary.
ADDITIONAL CHARGES FOR THE DEUS BROTHERS: JAC confirmed Juan Deus is on probation as of 5-4-17 for DV battery by strangulation. Joshua Deus is on probation as of 4-9-17 for carrying a concealed firearm. Committing a new crime is a violation of their probation. Joshua Deus committed possession of cannabis with intent to sell and possession of narcotics paraphernalia.